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Wednesday / June 29.
HomemilensesHelp patients see better today and tomorrow

Help patients see better today and tomorrow

The majority of Australians are aware of the damage the sun can do to the skin, however, according to Newspoll research commissioned by Transitions Optical, an alarming 90 per cent of Australians are not aware of the damage sun can do to eyes.

“Australians, like people everywhere, are bombarded with a myriad of health messages, many with more ‘horsepower’ than the eyecare industry could ever muster,” says Eric Breda, Transitions Optical Business Director Aust/NZ. “So the task of the industry as a whole is to explain the risk and put the subject of healthy sight in context. And this is a key focus for Transitions Optical.”

So whilst only 10 per cent of Australians are aware of the dangers of the sun to eyes, the majority are very concerned with the health of their eyes. Whilst this is not regarded as the number one concern, the issue is slowly gathering momentum.

Eye health, as distinct from simply being able to see, is a subject that affects more people than ever and is a discussion point for an increasing number of the general population. Events like World Sight Day with involvement from personalities like Geoff Lawson are enormously helpful. Even the innocuous news reports like Anthony Mundine’s career stalling eye infection last year, grow the awareness and importance of eye health. The involvement of industry partners like the Australian Rugby Union and Qantas Wallabies in the foundation year of the JULeye campaign makes a huge difference in terms of public awareness.

… whilst only 10 per cent of Australians are aware of the dangers of the sun to eyes, the majority are very concerned with the health of their eyes.

“Despite some pleasing increases in eye health awareness; on the whole, eye health as opposed to mere vision correction, remains a topic that is given little thought by most Australians,” says Eric Breda.

Perhaps the greatest single issue is the statistic that age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in Australia today, affecting one in seven people over the age of 50. With an aging population, this statistic along with the cumulative affects of a life in the sun continues to make healthy sight an issue that is rapidly growing in significance.

Considering this statistic, Transition’s local business director Eric Breda believes an increasing responsibility falls on everyone in this industry.

“It is now as important to educate and inform as it is to offer solutions,” says Eric Breda. “This also includes delivering relevant information around protection and prevention, not just aimed at our aging population but also starting with children.”

Transitions Optical’s Commitment to Healthy Sight

“Year after year, Transitions Optical has demonstrated a complete commitment to the notion of healthy sight,” says Breda.

“As the manufacturer of the eyecare industry’s #1 photochromic lenses, Transitions lenses has the broadest distribution in the industry worldwide and with more lens partners than any other manufacturer. Transitions lenses are also available in the widest range of designs and materials.”

That however, is only part of the story. Because Transitions Optical’s business can also be described as ‘healthy sight and wellness’; it is the company’s mission and they have put a real commitment and investment behind this ideal.

The promotion of healthy sight is an international issue and it is being treated very seriously by Transitions Optical, an international company.

In a macro sense, Transitions Optical is demonstrating its commitment to both the industry and customers, by offering access to the global studies and clinical education of some of the most respected medical and ophthalmic professionals in the world.

Right now, there are two internationally recognised resources in Dr. Susan Stenson, M.D., F.A.C.S., Global Medical Director for Transitions Optical and Dr. Jeffrey L. Weaver, OD, MBA, MS, FAAO, Optometric Advisor to Transitions Optical.

Dr Stenson is a professor of ophthalmology at New York University School of Medicine. Additionally, she serves as attending physician at institutions around the New York area, including Tisch Hospital, Bellevue Hospital, and the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital. Stenson has extensive experience in clinical research on the topic of photochromics, leading several previously published studies.

Dr. Weaver is Director of the Clinical Care Group of the American Optometric Association; a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry; and Chief of Optometry of the United States Army Reserve. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, as well as a Diplomate in Public Health and Environmental Vision. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Missouri Optometric Association, a Course Reviewer for the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE), and a Clinical Examiner for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry.

Dr. Susan Stenson and Dr. Jeffrey L. Weaver are industry thought leaders whose counsel, role as ambassadors, and their guidance on the company’s eye health research and clinical education initiatives guide Transitions Optical as they explore the future of eye health and its relationship to overall health and wellness.

Transitions Optical Australia/New Zealand

Sitting under these global resources are the challenges and opportunities faced within the Australian/New Zealand region.

Transitions Optical has recognised that education around healthy sight is ultimately a consumer issue. To that end there are a number of programs to be rolled out by the company that make this commitment both tangible and comprehensive.

Much of this support comes from the Transitions Healthy Sight for Life Fund, established to raise awareness of the importance of healthy sight with campaigns such as UV Protection and Children’s Vision.

Partnering with the OAA, Transitions Optical has been actively involved in addressing the issues around eye protection with the ‘fried eggs’ campaign a visible and powerful reminder to consumers of the dangers of UV radiation to eye health.

However Eric Breda believes while public education programs are valuable, taking the story into practices and then having the ability to deal with patients appropriately is really the only way to ensure success.

“Transitions have several research based Eyecare Professional education programs called ‘Smartskills Insights’,” says Breda.

“The newest ‘Smartskills Patient Insights’ describes customer attitudes and behaviour allowing optometrists and dispensers to be better equipped to respond to patient queries and expectations.

“At Transitions our aim is to help patients see better today and tomorrow.

“Not only are Transitions lenses as clear as clear lenses indoors and at night, your patients will see more clearly in all outdoor light conditions too. By automatically adjusting tint according to light intensity outdoors, glare is reduced helping the eye to adjust to changing light conditions meaning less eye squinting and less eye strain – resulting in eyes feeling less tired. This helps enhance the well-being of patients’ eyes.

“Transitions lenses also help protect eyes for tomorrow through the provision of 100 per cent UVA and UVB blockage and UV 400 protection, helping to reduce the risks of certain eye conditions and other UV related ocular diseases, including cataract.

“Therefore, Transitions lenses are an excellent option for spectacle wearers to help enhance well-being of the eyes and to help preserve long-term eye health,” he says.

In fact, Breda says: “Newspoll research highlights that 70 per cent of patients are willing to discuss Transitions lenses with their eyecare professional and patients of all ages would seriously consider purchasing Transitions lenses.”

To the end of December 2008, Transitions Optical is standing by it’s commitment to healthy sight through a ‘Satisfied or Exchanged’ guarantee. For further information go to www.transitions.com/satisfiedorexchanged.

Breda believes there “should be as few barriers as possible to purchase Transitions lenses and for patients to start enjoying visual quality and health benefits”.